A note from Lyndsay on Tuck Shop's Boxing Day break-in, and our hopes for 2022.
I went to bed cheerful and the happiest I had been in a long time on Christmas Day. I spent a lovely Christmas day with my family. After a gourmet Christmas feast, we snuggled onto the couch to watch Die Hard (a tradition in my husband’s family) and finally tucked into bed feeling grateful. And then it happened… My phone rang. Which can only mean one thing between the hours of 11pm and 7am – the alarm at Tuck Shop had been set off.
Begrudgingly, I answered, knowing full well that the next few hours were going to suck. The call confirmed that the store's alarm had indeed been set off… I checked the video surveillance; someone was in fact in the store. Would you like us to call the police? Yes, CALL THE POLICE! I’m 200 kms away. It’s 4:20am on Boxing Day. WTF? What do I do? Thank God for good friends, employees and the Toronto Police. The police were onsite quickly and stayed until I was able to rouse a dear friend (and loyal insurance broker) and an employee who could let the police in to investigate. By 9am the police had begun their investigation and the store had been temporarily patched up.
But let’s rewind… at 4:20am a man cut our front window. You read that right… (like Tuck Shop is the Louvre and Mona Lisa is inside), he cut the glass and pushed the window in and then crawled through, breaking our mannequin, damaging product that was in our holiday window and then he rushed to the back offices. We don’t have cameras in the back (obviously we will now!) and tore apart my desk and stole the most peculiar things… a Pantone book, samples in development (anyone in the industry will understand how annoying these first two stolen items are to loose!), socks that had been worn on a photoshoot (yuck!), personal photos and my dry cleaning. He managed to collect some legitimate products and then escaped through his Thomas Crown style entry point.
And now two weeks later, I’m sitting alone in our store that is a lot darker than it usually is due to the temporary tarp/plywood patch work that casts a blue gaze over the front entry. Our employees are either at home dealing with virtual school, or isolating because of COVID. It’s lonely, and kind of sad here. Don’t worry, Fuzzy is here keeping me company. But seriously… this is the second time in a year that Tuck Shop has been broken into… during one of the worst time periods ever for retail. It’s invasive, infuriating and annoying. Not to mention the financial burden that we now face. But alas, we will persevere.
2021 was f’ing hard. I am putting this out there not for sympathy, but for solidarity. We often write our Tuck Shop missives with rose coloured glasses. But honestly, I am so tired of pivoting and reinventing. I want to be able to focus on creating beautiful things… simply put, I just wanna make some cool shit that I hope you will like enough to add to your outstanding wardrobe. I don’t want to deal with government subsidies and grants, insurance claims and police reports which so much of 2021 was. So here’s my wish for 2022 – be kind, be thoughtful, take care of one another, and stay positive! I know that I keep getting close to what I think is a breaking point and then amazingly dig a little deeper to find renewed energy and optimism. Keep moving forward… keep moving forward. So dear friends, customers, collaborators, suppliers, vendors, and family… Let's support one another, keep each other not only afloat, but raise the tide, for as JFK poetically said: “A rising tide raises all boats.”